If you’re lucky enough to own a gorgeous period property, you’ll know there is often a compromise to be made when it comes to character homes, particularly with heating and maintenance.
Those big rooms with original features might make for stunning spaces to live in, but they don’t always offer the home comforts that are expected of contemporary homes with all the mod cons. They can be expensive to heat, complicated to maintain and impossible to change due to planning regulations.
So, what’s the answer?
Here are five suggestions of how you can cosy-up your period home, making it warmer and more energy efficient.
ONE – SECONDARY GLAZING
Making sure your windows are water and wind-tight is one of the primary ways you can improve the warmth of your home. For those with listed or character windows, this isn’t as easy as fitting modern double glazing, however. Secondary glazing is the only solution to offer all the benefits of modern glazing without spoiling the character of a period property.
When you see how this slashes your heating bills and cuts out not just draughts, but noise too, you’ll recognise the investment is well worth its weight in gold! Storm Bespoke Secondary Glazing offer an almost invisible slimline unit, hand-made to fit any size and style of window.
TWO – CHECK YOUR CHIMNEY
There’s nothing cosier than an open fire, right? Unfortunately, that’s only true when they’re lit. If your period home has fireplaces dotted around in several rooms, they might look amazing, but chances are they’re leaking in a whole lot of cold air down the chimney!
Blocking the air flow is the obvious answer, but what’s the best way to do it?
We’ve discovered this brilliant, eco-friendly product called Chimney Sheep (so named as it’s a wad of sheep’s wool. Clever, eh?). It’s easy to pop in when the fire’s out and pull out using the attached handle when you’re ready to burn baby, burn.
THREE – DRAUGHT-PROOF YOUR DOORS AND DOOR FURNITURE
There’s all manner of decorative draught excluders that can run across the base of your internal doors to prevent breezes sweeping in across the floor. Our favourites are by stylish interior designer Celina Digby.
But don’t forget your door furniture such as keyholes and letterboxes when addressing whistling wind issues! Escutcheons (or keyhole covers) and letterbox covers can also make a huge difference.
Escutcheons come in all manner of shapes, sizes and materials from a Victorian brass lady to a nickel lion head or art deco inspired white and gold ceramic feature. We like the period collection by Architectural Décor.
For your letterbox, you might want to consider a modern magnetic solution that’s simple but effective, such as the Magflap.
If you want to remain more traditional, however, you could look to replace your letter plate with a period-inspired fitting from the British Ironwork Centre, or install one of their internal letter plate covers.
FOUR – INSULATION
As with the windows of a period property, insulation cannot interfere with the original fabric of the house and must be deemed appropriate for use.
A survey by an expert in period homes is advisable, but there may be opportunities to insulate walls, floors and roofs with suitable materials.
Build It magazine, a fantastic resource for anyone tackling a house renovation, offers some great advice on the subject here.
FIVE – RUGS
Flooring is a common place for heat to escape in old homes, but is often overlooked in the quest to make our homes warmer.
Original floors in a period home may look stunning, but they can leave you with cold feet and add to an overall drop in room temperature.
Ripping up your flooring and adding insulation can cause irreparable damage, or even cause damp in poorly ventilated flooring, so is often not advised.
A much easier way to warm up those cold feet and add a layer of protection to old floors is with a cosy and attractive rug. Whether you go for shaggy, sheepskin or wool, a rug can inject even more character to your period property and make it look and feel warmer and more inviting.
Check out this Country and Town House article for ideas on some of the most stylish rugs on the market right now.
For more information or to book a free no-obligation survey, simply give us a call on 01384 63 63 65 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.